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Tom UniackTom Uniack
Executive Director

Tom joined Washington Wild in 2003 after graduating from the Master’s program at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. For 13 years he served as Washington Wild’s Conservation Director and in early 2016 was named Executive Director. His leadership role within a core group of both local and regional Wilderness advocates has significantly advanced the protection and restoration of Washington’s wild land and waters. This notably includes successful passage of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (2008) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions Act (2014).

Tom’s role as Executive Director has been carefully structured to combine organizational and mission leadership. His ability and passion to lead both Washington Wild and the conservation community will ensure continued success in protecting wild lands and waters in the beautiful state of Washington, now and for future generations.

Prior to grad school, Tom was with Defenders of Wildlife for seven years in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a range of issues from Arctic wilderness to preserving Florida black bears. Tom and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of son Luke, and twins Charlize and Sierra.

Susan Melrose, Courtesy of Susan Melrose
Susan Melrose
Director of Operations

Susan joined Washington Wild in July 2016, though this was actually a return to the organization since she served as a program manager from 2000 to 2002. Having focused her career in nonprofits, Susan has worked on a variety of issues including shoreline conservation, the Hanford Site, community building and of course, Wilderness protection. For the previous nine years, Susan served as the Executive Director of a small, community focused organization in her neighborhood of West Seattle.

Happy to combine her passion of environmental conservation with skills in nonprofit administration, Susan is well suited to serve as Washington Wild’s Director of Operations. Susan holds a degree in International Relations and Environmental Issues from California State University, Chico. She enjoys mountain biking, hiking and spending time exploring new places with her family.   


Candance MassonCandace Masson
Communications and Development Director

Candace joined Washington Wild in August 2015. She is new to the Seattle area, relocating from Pennsylvania, where for the past seven years she has been the Marketing Director for a large regional accounting firm. She brings strong skills in marketing and communications, along with solid experience in event planning, public relations and social media. She has been an active volunteer in the non-profit community along with some development and fundraising experience. She has a keen interest in our conservation mission and has been an active volunteer with Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, a regional land trust. Candace is a Business Administration graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University and has an MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Candace enjoys hiking, biking, snowboarding and other activities to explore the great outdoors.

Ariel WestAriel West
Program Manager

Ariel joined Washington Wild in February 2016. She is a current graduate student at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and received her B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. After finishing her undergraduate in 2013 she spent a year teaching English in Shenzhen, China. During her time there she witnessed the implications of poor environmental management in the atrocious air quality and severe degradation of the natural world in China. After moving to Seattle, the passion and commitment of the communities inspired her to work for better protection of the environment. She has experience working with conservation non-profits in the Seattle area and has prior experience working in education and international development. In her free time she enjoys hiking, backpacking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Washington State.


Stacey Kaiser
Membership and Events Coordinator

Stacey joined Washington Wild in February 2017. She recently relocated from northern California, bringing with her a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from San Francisco State University. Stacey began her career at the San Francisco Parks Alliance, giving her experience in development, event coordination and database management. With a great love and appreciation of the Pacific Northwest, Stacey is thrilled to be part of the Washington Wild team. Stacey grew up spending most of her time outdoors and strives to make sure our wild spaces remain wild for others to explore. In her free time, Stacey can be found hiking, camping, backpacking and globetrotting.